Resolution on Breast Cancer Awareness and Treatment
Adopted by 2010 Plenum
Breast Cancer strikes women of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities and ages; however, certain populations are not only more vulnerable to this disease but are also at risk for higher mortality rates.
Ashkenazi Jewish women and young African-American women have an increased risk of breast cancer. Ashkenazi women are at greater risk for carrying the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations which significantly increases their risk for breast cancer. Women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 abnormalities are at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. The lifetime risk is about 55% for women with BRCA1 mutations and about 25% for women with BRCA2 mutations. Caucasian women have a slightly higher risk than African- American women. African- American women with breast cancer have a higher risk of dying from the cancer because they are more likely to have an aggressive form of the disease. While the focus is on women, men also have BRCA gene mutations and are at increased risk of developing breast cancer. While women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have a lifetime breast cancer risk of up to 80%, the risk, though much less lower, does exist for men. The lifetime breast cancer risk for men with BRCA2 mutations is about 5% to 10%. BRCA1 plays a role in only a small amount of male breast cancers, but it is more common in Jewish men.
05:45 PM Mar 02, 2010 -
Resolution on Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Military
Adopted By 2010 Plenum
The 1993 “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” (DADT) policy was proffered as a compromise that held the promise that would allow gays and lesbians to serve in the military if they did not reveal their sexual orientation. Established under the premise of discretion and privacy, the policy still barred lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving openly in the military. Any service member that reveals his or her homosexuality would be discharged. However, the policy also ostensibly precluded military officials from investigating soldiers suspected of being homosexual. Since the enactment of the DADT policy, more than 13,000 individuals have been discharged from the U.S. armed services due to their sexual orientation – a rate similar to before the DADT law.
05:39 PM Mar 02, 2010 -
Resolution on Civility
Adopted by 2010 Plenum
Robust, vigorous debate about the pressing issues of the day is vital and essential in a pluralistic society, including within our diverse Jewish community.
Deep divisions are to be expected over how to address many issues including but not limited to the domestic economy, the environment, health care, American military involvement abroad, the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the existential threats posed to Israel by terror and Iranian nuclear ambition. A frank and civil exchange of ideas helps to inform and distill consensus. In recent years, however, we have been witness to an increasing challenge in general society and in our own community. There is greater political and socio-economic polarization, the deterioration of civil interaction, decreased sense of common ground among individuals with divergent perspectives, greater tension around global issues and their impact on American society. At times divisions spill over into racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of prejudice and bias. It is cause for great concern.
As differences devolve into uncivil acrimony, dignity is diminished and people holding diverse viewpoints cease listening to each other, it becomes more difficult if not impossible to find common ground. We are experiencing a level of incivility, particularly over issues pertaining to Israel, that has not been witnessed in recent memory. Where such polarization occurs within the Jewish community, it tears at the fabric of Klal Yisrael – our very sense of peoplehood – and is a cause for profound concern.
Civility is neither the lack of difference nor the squelching of debate. It is the application of care for the dignity of every human being, even those with whom we may sharply disagree. It is listening carefully when others speak, not just to understand what they are saying and thinking, but to open ourselves to the possibility that they may have something to teach. It is the guarding of tongue and the rejection of false witness. As Jews, our shared past, present, and future require that we find ways to work for a common good, toward Klal Yisrael. Each of us has a sacred obligation to heal our broken world. This repair requires that we recognize that the divine is in every one of us.
05:08 PM Mar 02, 2010 -
Resolution on Usury
Adopted by 2010 Plenum
Prohibitions against usury date back to biblical times. The prophet Ezekiel compares a usurer to someone who is a “thief, a murderer…who oppresses the poor and the needy” (18:10-13). After 1776, all states adopted general usury laws. Most states limited interest rates to under 10%. However, beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many state usury laws were significantly weakened, preempted or even repealed. The loss of traditional usury protections enabled usurious predatory lending practices to become even more harmful and widespread.
04:55 PM Mar 02, 2010 -
Resolution on Reform of the Federal Poverty Measure
As Adopted by the 2009 JCPA Plenum
Driven by our mandate from Deuteronomy 15:4, “There Shall Be No Needy Among You,” the Jewish Council for Public Affairs has mobilized dozens of communities nationwide to build the political will to reduce poverty in America.
To that end, the JCPA strongly supports reform of the way poverty is measured in the United States. Such reform is critical because the current measure is deeply flawed and because the stakes are so high. Child poverty alone costs our nation roughly $500 billion a year in reduced productivity and economic output, and increased health expenditures and costs of crime (Source: http://www.urban.org/publications/901032.html).
We therefore have an economic as well as a moral imperative to create policies that address this national crisis, but we have no chance to do so if we cannot adequately measure the problem.
03:55 PM Mar 02, 2009 -